(Mirror Daily, United States) – A team of researchers from the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology managed to build the most precise atomic clock ever. This device makes use of all three dimensions, and returns an error rate of only 3.5 to 10 quintillion, and was developed by the same team which made the previous most precise clock in the universe.
The research team was determined to create the perfect atomic clock, and their two attempts proved incredibly successful. After the first attempt, the 2015 clock had an error rate of 2 to 1 quintillion, and had the capacity to keep the time perfectly for more than the age of the universe. Therefore, it was able not to lose or add any second for 15 billion years.
For the manufacturing of these clocks, researchers used quantum engineering. Therefore, the 2015 version made use of a layer of strontium atoms, placed in a unidimensional wall. Now, researchers switched to 3D, and ordered the atoms in a cube form, packing them up at a density 1,000 times higher than the previous one.
The most precise atomic clock is powered by 3D formations of atoms and quantum gas
These atom formations were kept in place with the help of several laser beans. In fact, this radiation is what helps them be so precise in keeping the time. The electrons in these atoms are very precise when they vary from one state to another.
However, unidimensional clocks are more likely to get inaccurate, since each electron is measured on its own. When ordered in a three-dimensional cube, the electrons work together as a system. This way, they are less likely to collide, reducing the chances of inaccuracy and providing as much precision as possible.
Another important role was played by the gas which surrounded the atom cube, which researchers called ‘quantum gas’. It is also known as a Fermi gas, as it’s present in a state which contains many fermions. This gas reduces some of the properties of the gas, which prevents other factors from intervening and from perturbing the ability of the atomic clock to keep time.
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